11 Dark-Horse Picks To Take Over 'The Office' When Steve Carell Departs


It’s the corporate shakeup question of the year — when Steve Carell departs “The Office,” who will take over the corner office at Dunder Mifflin Scranton?

Producer Paul Lieberstein (who also plays beaten-down HR rep Toby) has previously gone on record saying he’d choose Ed Helms or Craig Robinson if forced to source from within the branch. And Ricky Gervais, the comic mind behind the original “Office,” said yesterday that he’d love to see Will Arnett in the role.

All three would be brilliant picks. Robinson and Helms’s characters have been getting more storylines — and fans — for the past two seasons. Arnett, best known for his turn as magician/trouble child Gob Bluth on “Arrested Development,” is now free, following the cancellation of Fox’s “Running Wilde.”

But the field is wide open here — and “Office” producers have never been known for choosing the expected route. So there may just be some dark-horse candidates interviewing for the most coveted sales job in television.

Mindy Kaling

Let's start with some internal candidates. Sure, Robinson's Darryl and Helms's Andy would both be entertaining bosses. But what would be more delicious than watching Kelly, Sabre's executive trainee, work Taylor Swift quotes into employee presentations?

David Koechner

Remember Packer? We'd love to see what would happen if Koechner's flagrantly inappropriate salesman failed up and into the manager's post.

Andy Buckley

A financial adviser turned actor, Buckley (centre) played David Wallace, to whom Michael reported for years. Wallace was last spotted jamming at home with his son after losing his shirt in the Sabre takeover. But we're thinking that after many months at home in pajama pants, he's probably ready to get back in the game. By the way, that curly-haired guy in the photo with Buckley? Don't even think about it. Will Ferrell will do a guest arc later this season, but he's way too busy and expensive to go full-time on 'The Office.' But what about another curly-haired guy?

John C. Reilly

We'd be truly surprised to find out producers haven't even approached John C. Reilly, who isn't just a fantastic dramatic actor with a flair for slapstick. He's also the ultimate everyday character artist, always playing a guy that feels like he could be your neighbour or colleague -- and he'd make a great new feuding partner for Dwight.

Kristen Bell

Bell's been popping up in more and more comedies -- and we saw the no-nonense side of her on 'Party Down.' She'd be the perfect pick for a superambitious, young upstart who's scaled the Dunder Mifflin ladder in no time flat.

J.B. Smoove

Smoove is the master of scene-stealing, whether it's in 'Date Night' or 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.' Bringing his high-energy persona to 'The Office' would throw louder, more outrageous comedy into the mix, no doubt giving Jim Halpert plenty to smirk about.

Ron Livingston

'The Office' meets 'Office Space' -- it's a fed-up desk drone's dream come true. Livingston is one of the most likable actors out there, and choosing the guy who played worker hero Peter Gibbons would rally fans around the transition, rather than having them sit back, sceptical about anyone filling Carell's shoes.

Todd Barry

This one's for the serious comedy aficionados -- but we promise all of America would love Barry if they just got to know him. Barry is a favourite on the standup circuit, an Adult Swim go-to and a master of unflinching oddness. Like Smoove, he'd shake up the show's vibe rather than fitting into it.

Leslie Mann

Ever walk out of a movie wishing Leslie Mann got more screen time? Us, too. We can picture her turning the Scranton branch into a highly positive workplace full of new-age theories and mandatory optimism. (Stanley would quit within a week.)

John Cho

You probably know Cho best from the 'Harold & Kumar' movies, but he also guest starred on 'How I Met Your Mother' as a corporate smoothtalker. We can see him bringing that same big-city vibe to Scranton as a Wall Street expat turned paper enthusiast.

Molly Shannon

Shannon's last stint on NBC was cut short when 'Kath and Kim' was cancelled, but the network loves her -- and so do we. She can be zany or awkward, silly or serious -- but she ultimately wins over everybody, much like Michael always has.

And if none of these people work, maybe producers will choose a couple.

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